Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm On My Third Day Of Recovering From A Brutal Fire Ant Attack

You are looking at a close-up, macro view of the current state of the Fire Ant attack on my right arm.

The right arm is way worse than the left. By this morning the red bumps had formed white pustules that make it look as if my arm is covered by a real bad case of acne.

I've not had a zit in decades.

 I've now learned that Fire Ants bite only to get a grip on your skin so they can then inject a sting from their abdomen that contains a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin.

For most humans Fire Ants are a painful sting, with a sensation similar to being burned.

I am not like most humans, apparently, I felt nothing and still feel nothing.

I have learned the white pustule can get infected, if scratched. I've had no impulse to do any scratching. A topical steroid hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera helps. Or taking antihistamines. I'm taking nothing.

Some people have a horrible reaction to a Fire Ant attack, due to allergies, causing severe chest pain, nausea, bad swelling, trouble breathing and slurred speech.

Where I got stung I saw no Fire Ant mound. It was likely located elsewhere, with me getting burned by Worker Ants. The Worker Ants are sterile females who do all the work of the ant colony, like building the nest, taking care of the babies, running the Fire Ant defense system and hunting for supplies for the colony.

I suspect I was attacked by some supply hunters.

The Fire Ant nest is ruled by a Queen. The Queen has up to 8 sub-Queens who's job it is to flee the nest if it is attacked, so a new colony can be built with a new Queen. The Queen's main job is to make babies. The Queen can live 6 or 7 years, popping out around 1,500 ant eggs a day.

The Queen is one very busy Fire Ant. She basically spends her day getting serviced by Male Drones. The Drones mate with the Queen and then die. Their average lifespan is 4 days. The Males are born, reach puberty, reproduce and die within 4 days.

Someone suggested that the reason I don't feel the burn of the Fire Ants is the same reason I don't feel the cold of the pool.

Maybe I am just insensitive.


Anonymous said...

Your description of the workings of fire ants sounds very familiar somehow. I can't think of the word but somehow the letters M, H,M,R and c,e,o are flashing through.

I'll let you know when it all comes together. Some coffee should help the process.

Anonymous said...

I'll help you out caffeine-deficient commenter. It's Jim McDermott, PhD. and CEO of MHMR of Tarrant County.

Or the CEO of Tarrant County MHMR Dr. Jim McDermott, PhD.

Or James McDermott, PhD., CEO of MHMR and President of MHMR Visions.